Consultant at Buck Consultants, a Xerox Company
What has surprised you about your career? Is it like you imagined it would be? I am continually surprised by how challenging my career is. I learn something new every day and know that I will never stop learning and will always be getting better at my job. My job is harder than I thought it could ever be, but at the same time, the daily challenges have allowed me to become increasingly confident as a woman in the business world.
What qualities or skills are important for this career? As a consulting actuary, I am expected to have very strong analytical and communication skills. I have to be able to manage and prioritize complex assignments and projects for my clients – all who are corporations or employers who sponsor pension plans for their employees. Although my math skills are expected to be my greatest asset, I also need to know a little (or a lot) about economics, governmental policy, financial accounting, how businesses run, and how to read, interpret, and explain legal documents. It is also very important to be able to work on a team.
What types of people do you interact with at your job? In addition to working with other actuaries, my client contacts range from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and other finance professionals, to Human Resource Managers and staff. Sometimes my job requires me to work with auditors, investment advisors, and accountants on behalf of my clients.
Who are YOUR role models? In addition to several female actuaries that I have worked with, I admire Beyonce and Mariah Carey.
Read more about her career! Actuary
Bio:Jennifer is a consultant at Buck Consultants which is a Xerox Company. She went to Robert Morris University where she received a B.S. in Actuarial Science with a Minor in International Studies. Becoming an actuary means passing a Society of Actuaries (SOA) and sometimes Internal Revenue Service (IRS) exams. She described her typical day at work and it includes, “A new project or problem can come up at any time, from any client and sometimes from multiple clients. I help my clients to solve business problems that usually have something to do with the cost of future benefits provided to employees.” These problems don’t bother Jennifer! Her favorite aspect of her job includes helping clients solve these complex business problems. As a young girl, Jennifer thought she was going to become a teacher. Although she is not exactly a teacher, she said that her job still involves explaining and teaching problems and solutions to her clients and at times, coworkers too!
Jennifer’s degree in Actuarial Science isn’t all she needs to become an actuary. She said that, “to attain actuarial credentials, several series of exams must be passed. I have passed 5 exams plus a little bit more of the Society of Actuaries’ requirements to become an Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA). I am also about half-way to becoming an Enrolled Actuary (EA). I am hoping to attain both credentials this year.”
Outside of work Jennifer enjoys soy lattes as well as cooking and cross-stitching. She also likes to go to kickboxing classes and working out! With the little time she has left, she also likes to shop for clothes, shoes and decorating her house.